The Curiously Stunted, Incomprehensibly Disjointed, Perfectly Inadequate Adventures of Nicholas Cornelius Holloway – Episode 44

He stepped off the freshly swept street onto the morning bus. He sat down across from her on seats scrubbed clean in the middle of the night. He unwrapped a breakfast sandwich prepared by a young man working his way through night school. As they jostled down streets paved by the previous generation and maintained by the present he chewed and watched her.

“I’ve been thinking,” he said. “Your optimism. It’s irrational.”

She raised her eyebrows. “How’s that?”

“It’s called pronoia. It’s the delusion that the universe is conspiring to help you. But you’re on your own in this world. The sooner you come to terms with that, the better.”

She smiled. The bus stopped.

“Anyway, have a nice day. See you tomorrow.” He tossed his sandwich wrapper in a receptacle that would be emptied by a uniformed transit employee later and exited, whistling a tune he couldn’t quite place.